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Road to the White House

Series/Special. The candidates, issues and events shaping the presidential race.

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Us 29, Washington 7, Harry Reid 6, England 5, Joe Biden 4, Mcconnell 4, David Cameron 3, Mitch Mcconnell 3, John Thune 3, Joe Crowley 2, Reid 2, National Journal 2, United Kingdom 2, C-span 2, Levison 2, John Boehner 2, Feinstein 2, Ireland 2, West Virginia 2, U.s. 2,
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  CSPAN    Road to the White House    Series/Special. The candidates, issues  
   and events shaping the presidential race.  

    December 30, 2012
    9:30 - 11:00pm EST  

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automatic. terms and conditions would go as before. i think we have seen an after mass of the edinburgh agreements and in the weeks since. first of all, i commission that the head -- i they have now had to con soot. what john cena di was huge. and that the terms of pleasure would have to stay. whether or not the member is automatic. it will be time consumer process wevpb the best one in the world. but is the towns of that member. the u.k. has. and then the interest of scotland's economy. perhaps we'll see that fulfill
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into other arguments as wellle -- westminster review. >> there's anger other the churnl of england not to allow women bishops. and there's in problem over david cameron to aplow the propo sal. there's no electric mandate for these politics. after the owned of, he finally produce his report on media ethics. his inquiry was set up gld cakes of the hacking scandal. in his report he said parts of the media were wrengless and had weeked -- following that
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news conference david cameron came to the commons to end piece. >> i have proposals who have independent self-regulation organized by the media. he details the key requirement that an independent regular body should meet. a standards code. an arbitration service and a speaky complaint. usually it must have the pow fwore deband up front and impose up to a 1 lourks fine. >> i looks wlike it was -- that word "crucially" provide and i with quit independence process. this wood would reassure the basic requirements and the
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reeffective meets woffer meet. now i have misgivings in this reck next addition. the issue of principle is that for the first final of writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land. we should be wary of any free speech and a free press. >> let us be clear about the system. he proposes what i call a generallyer fisk -- generally. but he also give the responsibility for establishing that mr. mayor to the press. as now that's why statue is important because he provides a new guarantee. he recommends that the media
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regulars off come. it is truly ipped and provides effective protection for people like the mccanns and the -- to make it real, he rell -- as we set out in statute a law of this parliament. that's why i can get a truly independent from the fress. >> for the first time since the coalition haws informed. nick made a statement of the law. >> in principle, i think sh can be done in a proportionate and workable way. oy understand of course, the entirely legitimate reasons why some members of the highways are awarey of you.
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>> i am have fought long and hard about this. i'm a liberal. i don't make laws for the second of it. and certainly when it comes to the press, the absolute worse outcome in all of this would be for nothing to happen at all. so mr. speaker we must not pro vidvide it. nothing i have seen so far in this debate suggests to me we will find a better solution. so with the prime minister shying away from one of lort justin levyson's ren men dation. let -- he joins me in the studio. ross. david ram ron said he would expect levison unless his conclusions are bonkers. >> why isn't he accepting it ne
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fuel? >> it would cause drawing up laws to govern what the pressure should do. this really was a question of the heart of all of this. how could you make sure that everybody was involvinged incluesing publishers that aren't to do so without the piece of legislation that would amount enemies of the system sucting to licensing. the law had to change. talks use similar language that would simply recognize an independent regulator in raw. this debate went for months and months and months. they were joined. it would billion far more something more owneress. that's what david cameron was addressing in some of of his concerns.
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how did it feel? >> we saw something rather by zard there. we heard from the two men, the prime minister and the deputy frimse. there were -- separation. one of those two men thinks new law is skential and the other not is not. >> in the backgrounds for a moment, you've got the last few months. will continue to cross party talks. but simultaneously you also god the crime city. try now that new regulator could be brought in into this new law if it were to be one. it could be reck niced and gone look at it. there it is. we have a reck lay tor. it works. whie do we need anything new. we'll think is that possibly the most powerful argument your
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try to stave off any project of let yain yeah. >> not backed by law is that the most probably outcome? >> we do the press it is in their interest to put it in place. we are talking about a -- will be able to negotiate anybodies that we wope be inle able to fine. they will vote by statue. they want to underpeople. the question really is whether you see nick and neighbors view preceding. many great westminster debates, remember the levison inyeary aven take them away from the house of politicians to be buysed on subject to influence or try to pullly nubes. we have to report.
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we have to have the conclusion and back to the politician who is had to deal with lots of different deals too. >> let's take a look at the wide fiscal work. . what other clouds on the coalition's horizon coming up >> there's talk some of how far the coalition has got in it aims. i look forward to look forward. i'll raise some of the things that remember the idea that we have promised to us about the capacity to recoil and peas the sitchwernts. there is the commercial iraq shoe of the efrpblt u. budget. that hasn't gone away led for the first substantial defeat. that fill has to be negotiationed out in pronl prom sayses.
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it was very diver -- it would seem more work related. benefits by 1%. a huge debate between government and labor. it matters to how much money the treachry has. some poor and vulnerable people have. and the public really care about. if they see asthma a bad government taking it away or if they take the opposite of it you and say it's a crackdown o changes. it's going to explode. it will be a huge issue. >> you're going to be getting ready to get busy. lood luck. >> the existing operator sir richard branson's virgin train had lost out to the first train.
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virgin challenged the decision and the outcome was scratched and the bidding process was the two trained companies had been given different information. >> we've got the interim late law report which come only as they describe as aan indictment that the report can't found. i like transparency. it's changed the rules last minute and acting unfairly and it was aware that it was a legal challenge. in view of all the department, i wish wow could i and that you were con twenty the way things were being dealt with i was
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there for various reason and i wasn't in the same department next week. i but i was assure oaf the franchise was safe but do i regreet not asking more questions? >> it's easy in hindsight to say yes, i could have asked more questions of my officials. sit not the case that those officials should have been telling you the facts rather than wait in foot. so ask questions. >> well, i could say a lot of things. but daddy's in the back growth.
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i think it becomes obvious in meeting where they so far had laid low. i'm probably not wrecked from falling up the soority of the. -- information was given in different ways. so i think what we're seeing is i'm afraid there is a breakdown in which the way that the process was conducted. >> the transport secretary. well, there were more feisty exchanges when three international corporations and google recuesed of trying to avoid paying a fair amount of the tax. members of the public accounts committee skied zero executives. they said they were doing
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anything wrong. they fouled losses in the u.k. almost every year. >> if you've made losses in the suck which is what you're fighting, over 15 years, what has you doing business here? >> we know that we must with in the u.k. to be a successful company. >> but you're not making money. >> we've had encouragement over times. >> 15 years. you're still making -- you're still making losses and yet you're dub you're carrying on. if it's true. >> i assure you it's very strew. we're not at all there. >> i mean for 14 years of
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trading this -- in this quntri and get paid $17.6 million in corporation tax. you either want the business very badly or something else is going on. >> would you consider making a commit development the british marketplace about the degree to which you will have a fair approach to taxation? >> we are never aggressive in avoiding taxes by any means. we do not have tax havens in place. that's just now hot we do business. we look forward to deepening our investment. we have every intention to do that. >> your entire economic activity is here in the u.k. >> i do pay in pants. never comes out. your entire activity is here
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and yesterday you pay no taxes. that rowls us. >> when we do pay corporation tax, -- >> tiny bit. i menal, you won't tell us yourselves. >> the other thing i would say, we've paid in excess of $100 million. in the last nive years we've paid 10s of millions of rate. i like the service you provide you may be interested also in "50 shades of grey." [laughter] i'm interested in why you pay so little corporation tax particularly in this country so that we can pay some kind of benefit to all the book sellers
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you put out of business. >> we do pay a corporation tax and we pay a corporation tax on any profit. also we make payment. >> now i found goog the most difficult. i've had to create drawings to understand how the google intracompany system works. as i understand it 92% of all sales outside the u.s.a. are built in ireland. is that right? >> i'm not sure if it was 92% but the vast majority will be built in google in ireland. >> you actually have been making a profit. >> we are making a profit and we're paying taxes. >> in the u.k. >> well, a real profit rather than just avoiding this. >> i have to say we are paying the taxes and not avoiding taxes. >> you are avoiding taxes.
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>> i think you are avoiding. my question is would you leave? and if you left if you had to pay a higher way to tax on the decent profit, where would you go? >> i think the issue of you understanding here it is about -- if google was a british business -- if google would have been founded in cambridge it would be different because the technology founded where it happened. british is a u.s. business. the activity that happens in the u.k. even if you have to describe it as sales activity which is not exactly what the people do, we can still go and get that activity from the open market at the kind of cost that we're paying the u.k. >> fallout from all of that led to starbucks saying it would pay $20 million pounds. it aradio tributed to margaret hodges given the parliamentarian of the year award. now off to the house of lords where the government suffered a
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series of defeats in secret court hearings in civil cases. the government wanted the government to hear the evidence in what are closed closed material proceed rgs. which include the public, the media and even the american who brought the case. the intelligent services could be compromised. at the moment the government finds itself unable to defend some compensation claims for fear of blowing the government of secret agents or government sources. >> we are up next since the ter techniques and people. of course, we are. >> what i am worried about is that we're giving them the victory and actually legislating to underpin that victory. >> it's deeply distressing to me and to my former colleagues to be accused of really wicked
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treatment in the case of torture and maltreatment. we have not been able to defend ourselves. one of the things that this closed material procedure does is it gives opportunity for this material, which may or may not reflect badly on the intelligent services. i actually think it would not reflect badly. but that it should be looked at. >> one of the things that should not happen is you must not reduce the abilities of the public prosecution services and lawyers and more importantly the police who to my personal knowledge are extremely frustrated today certainly in northern ireland and in certain other areas that i know of that they cannot get convictions when they know that the people
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are guilty. they cannot get the evidence of the court because -- because they are protecting our secret services, our police, our undercover agents. >> people are sure that the united kingdom has been settling. a huge reputational damage. it could be used with terrorism against the united kingdom. the noble lady said public confidence is not helped by the facthat in many cases we've been able to defend ourself. she believes as i do that inviting the court to look at all the rell vent secret material and to decide whether any weight could be put on is the campaign of today. >> they reached another landmark in october. 96 football fans died in a
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match between liverpool in april 1989. the inquest soon afterwards returned verdicts of accidental deaths. but that has been heavily critsismed. the panel published more than 450,000 pages of documents and found 41 victims could have been saved if emergency services could have acted more quickly. >> my consideration in the evidence in this matter is far from complete. but as i do not wish to cause the family affected by this disaster i've decided to take an exceptional step and i nouns it on the basis of what i've already seen. it must be made. 96 died as a result of what occurred in hillsborough that day and 96 inquests were held. i believe it is all those debt es that aroad from a common chains of events.
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>> it was open season on the churnl. as m.p. voted their anger not to allow women to become bishops. the bishop and the clergies supported the change. m.p.'s condemned the outcome complaining that the church without baited, irrelevant and ex-centric. the m.p. gave his views. >> it is a frustration that i share and i think the following need to be understood. firstly, this is not an issue which can in any way be parked for the next couple of years or so awaiting another round of senate elections. there has to be an understand that this is an issue that has to be resolved. >> can we send a message to all others because they must feel even more frustrated than we
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do. and we're not going to let them down? >> since i was or dabed as a priest in the church of england 25 years ago, women vm become deans, rural deans and even archdeacons. their member is absolutely right to say that we will have more concessions to the hard liners that want to be second rate bishops. we need to speak this up. wouldn't it make sense to have moratorium until there could be women bishops not. it's not for this house to say how the established church is run. we may well have our own opinion but it's a very dangerous things for the house of commons to tell the established church how to run
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itself. >> they vote on a range of issues including qualities legislation. it is clear that they do not reflect the views of the british people. is it not time that they left the house? >> i every understood how you can have the head of the church and yet women cannot be bishops. can i urns that we do consider bring ordering -- that women should be bishops in the church of england? >> could i just reassure my humble friend that as i sat down through om my event, while there were those arguing for women to have headship. i don't know how they reck re-con siled that. and the queen we're very fortunate to have not only as head of state but head of the
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church. >> there was anotherer issue in the house of collins and currently gay couples can have a civil partnership service. >> they told the church of england and the church in whales will be excluded from the legislation. other churches would be allowed to opt in if they chose. >> churches have a right to fight for and articulate their beliefs and to be under no come pummings to conduct same sex marriages. if there's any church or any mosque that doesn't want to conduct a gay marriage it will not absolutely must not be forced to hold it. that is why as fart ofory response we'll have a quadruple lost. clear and unambiguous protection. i think it's important that she does not become two too
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defensive. those face such as the yikers and others who want to be able to celebrate same sex marriage should be able to consider. >> would she consider not being such an ultimate law so there is general freedom for the chilled of england. just as they voted to keep slavery and kept slayry for another 30 years, even chilly they changed their minds. as a member of the party that sip ports equal, may i suggest that she does have to take into account that it wasn't in the coalition agreement and many members of my constituency and my church and our party kneel there needs to be much more work done to see if it's possible to define civil marriage separately from traditional marriages.
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to challenge the definition of marriage between one man and one woman. >> and wile some conservative m.p.'s backed the proposal, some mmple p.'s -- m.p.'s had opposition. >> civil partnerships while conferring virtually the same legal benefits are not the same as marriage. marriage is not the property of the government, nor is it the property of the church and while the forms and legalities over gay marriage have evolved over time, one creature has remained the same that marriage
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is a union of one man and one woman. the social intrusion that predates both church and state that is the glue that has successive societies toth. -- together. the queen meets the prime minister for a regular briefing but this was the first time in recent history that a monarch had gone and join the table. >> the first item on the agenda to allow a girl to become head of state even though if she has a younger brother. and that wraps up our look back at 2012 to see what 2013 brings, do join us on bbbc partment on january 7th. but until then from me, aless yeah mc-- alessia mccarthy,
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goodbye. >> next, we will hear from members of congress about negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff today. harry reid followed by johnson -- john thune. >> thank you. i was gratified to hear the cuts are off the table. they should never have been on the table to begin with.
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there is still significant difference between the two sides. negotiations continue. we intend to continue negotiations. we will come in at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. we will have further announcements. i hope so. >> next, talking about the fiscal cliff. john thune. >> thank you for the update. midafternoon today, senator john thune spoke with reporters on where things stand on the
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fiscal cliff. >> where do things stand as far as a republican deal? >> republicans advanced a proposal last night and you heard senator mcconnell talk about it on the floor. we're still waiting for a counteroffer. there was an indication we would receive the by 10:00 this morning, but discussions still continue. senator mcconnell and vice president joe biden are continuing to discuss this and we think there still could be a path forward. democrats have come out and made a huge deal out of changing this and republicans are very concerned that it should not be used as an offset to reduce or replace some of the spending cuts that would occur and democrats put forward an alternative. this is a process. there's a lot of give-and-take going on. republicans do not want to see new revenue, democratic tax increases, being used for new spending. that is where many members are drawing the line. >> you all want to use this technical level, but it would really affect social security recipients in the sequester.
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democrats want to use new revenue from tax increases. is that the way you see that? >> there are other issues involved, but that is one example. it is not about replacing the sequester today. it is about changing policy to protect social security in the long run. if democrats do not accept it as an offset, come up with something else. raising taxes to pay for new spending is not something that
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republicans believe this debate ought to be about. a dog to be reducing the deficit and debt. they say they want higher taxes on people in this country to pay for new spending. >> you have spoken a few times with the prize -- the vice president and it seems they have been able to come up with bipartisan deals. did he give you an indication that you just had with fellow republicans that it may be an avenue of success? >> there were conversations and discussions between us and we remain hopeful that it will be a breakthrough. obviously, what happened here between the two leaders in the senate had broken down because they had come forward with a counter offer to what republicans said last night.
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hopefully the discussions between the vice-president and senator mcconnell will get us back on track and we will have a breakthrough and something we can vote on today or tomorrow to avert what we all believe would be an economic disaster. >> harry reid is as if you cannot come up with something by tonight that he will push a scaled-down version of what the president asked for, the tax cuts on everyone making above $250,000. you say knowing your colleagues that enough republicans will cross over and allow that to pass if it does not get the 50 votes needed? >> it's hard to say. this is what i would say about that. if that is where we end up and they decide to move that along to the floor and maybe you get the house to pass the extension as a deal, i would open it up to the amendment process. give us an opportunity to debate some of these things that we think should be a part of it. if history is a guide, they will take a bill until the amendments to allow that. we would welcome the opportunity to have an open debate on the floor of the senate with the american people watching. >> we appreciate your time. thank you.
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>> we know there are negotiations going on to avert at least part of the fiscal cliff. i have said this privately that i really hope our leaders can find a way out of this. i watched the president's speech today. i thought he was very fair in what he said, as usual.
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it is the middle class that needs to be lifted up. those at the very top 10 to a little bit more. it is very simple. i would hope, given that everyone isays they are for the middle class, that they agree that finding this compromise will come to pass. you know, i have been here for a while. my understanding is we have not met between -- christmas and new years since 1962. it takes something of major proportion to make that happen. we are in a crisis, but it is a self-made one.
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it is not some exterior attack on our country which we could not prevent. it is not, god forbid, a terrible virus running across the land. it is, to me, something that is not that complicated. as the president said, we have a series of tax cuts that are expiring. if we let them expire, it means there will be a huge tax cut, mostly hitting the middle class and the working poor. the upper incomes, the people in that category have done so well that even they think they would have to talk to their accountants before they even
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knew there was any impact on their tax bill. so we can come together. the president's favored limit would be $250,000. that means everyone who earns up to that would get a tax break -- everybody's in come up to $250,000 gets that, 100% of the people. those fortunate enough to the higher incomes would go back to the tax rates that prevailed when bill clinton was president. why the other side is horrified by that is perplexing to me. because i look back at the clinton era -- i was here. that is a long time ago. i was here. i came through the senate with senator feinstein when bill clinton was president. he faced similar issues in that we had a deficit that was getting out of control, debt that was getting out of control. we needed to have growth. so he put forward a plan, a
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budget plan, that invested in our people, invested in the infrastructure, invested in education, and at the same time said we can find cuts in other areas and we can raise taxes on those who are doing very well. what happened with that fair and balanced approach? what happened, the greatest prosperity in modern history. 23 million jobs, no more deficit, we got to a balanced budget, and i remember saying to my husband, what is going to happen -- it will not be any more government bonds because we will be out of the debt
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situation. we saw it on the horizon. when george w. bush became president, he decided to go back on rates across the board to the wealthiest to the middle to the poor and he put to ban all wars on a credit card and we are where we are -- two is on a credit card and here we are. we are coming out of the worst recession since the great depression. it has been difficult -- led by unfortunately some unscrupulous people on wall street who created a nightmare in the housing market. i remember saying to treasury secretary paulson, can you please explain the role of derivative ofs to me and what happened and how we got into this crisis? he put his head in his hands and he said, not now, i will talk to you later. that is not a very encouraging
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thing when the secretary of the treasury puts his head in his hands and says, i cannot explain it now. we are coming out of this difficult time and, guess what, we are doing much better. we had an election. it was pretty clear people want to see us reach a balance here. so, as i stand here, i know there are negotiations going on in the rooms that surround us. i wish for the best. i hope for the best and ask for the best. there is a word called compromise. it does not mean you compromise your principles -- it means you can compromise because that is what the american people want us to do. yes. i want to give you an example. if you were out hiking and you saw -- mr. president, in your
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state there are a lot of hikers. you saw somebody stepped on a cliff, swinging from a rope, and you knew the only way to save them was to cut the rope -- u.s. standing with someone else and you say, cut the rope at the top. he says, cut the rope at the bottom. you stand there arguing. meanwhile, the man is struggling on the cliff -- let me down. would it not be the smart thing to do -- would it not be smart to cut the rope with in the middle? and save the guy? you can argue later -- should i cut the rope at the top or the bottom? cut it in the middle, save the man. that is a pretty simplistic example of where we are. but i have the privilege of knowing that we can get it done when we work together. i was so proud to bring to the senate a highly bill, a
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transportation bill. millions of jobs were at stake. our states were worried they would stop kidding highway funds. we would have to stop road products in the middle and would not have project funds for transit. we sat in a room -- you could not find people more divergent. a progressive republican and a liberal -- a conservative republican and a liberal progressive. he said i want this, i said i want that. we said, let's make a deal here. let's meet in the middle. and we did. much to everybody's surprise. the bill passed the senate.
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when it got to the house it got stuck. the senators and i went over to meet with john boehner and chairman -- we agreed we would get it done. neither side got everything they wanted. anyone who takes that position, in my opinion, is not putting country first. i do not care whether they are republican or democrat or anything else. we are not each of us going to get everything we want. lord knows. there is a lot i could do if i had a want and could make it happen. but everybody has a different view of exactly how to go forward. i think we are being tested here. i know it is tough going. i know if we do not get a deal, it does not stop there, we will keep on working. but there is no reason on this beautiful god's green earth why
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we cannot get a deal here. if everyone is sincere in saying they want the middle- class to be protected, we can get a deal here. president obama says $250,000 -- maybe i think $350,000 is the line, maybe someone else $150,000 -- we can meet somewhere and cut down -- cut the road somewhere in the middle. and save this country from the uncertainty, the uncertainty that plagues us right now. in the olden days, a long time ago, i was a stockbroker. i was an economics major and a stockbroker on wall street.
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the thing wall street and investors cannot take is uncertainty. if they no taxes are going up, they will be figure things. if they no taxes are going down, they will figure things. if they now taxes are staying the same, they will figure it out. right now it they are frozen -- they do not know. families are also in many ways frozen. they do not know whether they have to budget so that they will have $2,000 less next year. they do not know whether it will be $4,000. they do not now. the uncertainty is the fault of leaders who cannot get together. i think it is critical that we get a deal. i hope in the next couple of hours. to me -- somebody asked me,
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what is the difference if you get it now or five days from now? i say the difference is the uncertainty, this pall, an unnecessary and escalating crisis -- then you say, we do not have to do it now. we do it on the fourth. get it done. america wants us to get it done. the president has shown he is willing to be flexible. he has come out with some ideas i have had to except. he is willing. i know personally how strongly he feels that $250,000 should be where we draw the line in terms of tax breaks, but he was willing to offer $400,000. he was willing to look at changing some of our programs. very tough for him to do. but he is willing to do it even though he ran on his program and one by millions of votes on his program. so with the president can be flexible, and say, okay, i will step back from everything i really want to do and move in
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the direction of the republicans, then the republicans need to move in our direction. and i think we're going to be judged by whether we are going to be stuck in the mud because we just do not have the courage to change, or whether we step forward at this moment. i think it should be this moment. if we cannot get it down, i certainly hope we will have enough to vote on the president's plan, which i feel is very fair. the president offered a plan -- do i like everything about it? absolutely not. but he showed that he is willing to take those steps. i would hate to think that our colleagues would filibuster that and demand a 60-vote threshold as we go over this cliff. the american people are hanging from the cliff. and we can let them down gently
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today and solve this problem. but if all we do is stand up and stay in our corner, i am very fearful that the message is that we do not know how to meet each other halfway. that is not a good thing. voters are going to turn on the people who stand in their corners and do not move. that is not be role of legislators. i will close with this -- we have a different form of government than they have in europe. this is not a parliamentary system. in a parliamentary system, one government rules everything. one party rules everything. you have the prime minister, you have the speaker, and the leader. all in one party.
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and then it you do not compromise -- you put that out there and you get your program through. if there is a lack of confidence the people can change parties. the next party comes in and does what it wants. that is not what we do here. sometimes i wish it was the form of government we have because at least there would be some action and you would now. you would not have some uncertainty -- each party has its dreams and hopes and plans. they would have to change to get this policy through. we have to meet each other halfway. the house is run by the republicans. is -- the senate is run by the democrats but is not a super majority.
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the president is a democrat. we have to work together. that is the name of the game. if we can do it on the highway bill -- if they can do it on the farm bill, i now, and there are other examples -- i could give examples of senator feinstein and her republican counterparts. i could give many examples on the appropriations committee. we know we can do that we just have to do a -- take a deep breath and put our ego aside for this country's said. and make the compromises that allows us to still stand tall. i am only 5 feet, so that is hard, but you get the point. we can do this and should do it now. if we do not do it now, we
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should vote on the president's plan because the people of this country deserve better than to be left hanging on a class. they do not deserve that. it is not right. thank you very much. >> next, which programs would be cut, rather than across the board programs. >> thank you. i will first of all thank both of my colleagues for the diligent work -- they have committed themselves to this work and i appreciate it. mr. president, i rise today frustrated, embarrassed, and angry. it is absolutely inexcusable that all of us find ourselves in this place at this time, standing on the floor of the senate in front of the american people hours before we plunge off the fiscal cliff.
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with no plan and no apparent hope. but here we are, and we have got to do something. if we are determined to go over the cliff, as we seem, we have to do something to stop and the landing. at the bottom of the fiscal cliff are immediate and massive tax increases, deep and indiscriminate spending cuts, and a risk of another recession. if we come down on the final hours -- we have to bang choices -- to do nothing and cause an unbelievable amount of hardship for our fellow americans, or to do something to reduce the suffering inflicted on our citizens by an inflexible political system. mr. president, i choose to do something. today i am introducing the act -- the cliff alleviation at the last minute act.
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the act would do three important things. it will soften the financial blow the fiscal cliff, it will colmar financial markets, it gives us the certainty of a plan. it allows us, if we ever find the courage, to pursue the fiscal grand bargain that has eluded us so far. the financial markets are watching us and getting warmer -- nervous by the hour. we need to assure the market will of making good financial decisions. this bill is not something i'm excited about or proud to offer. this is not a great plan but merely a better plan been going over the cliff. it should never have come to this. we know for more than a year that this they was coming. for more than a year i have asked congress to fix our fiscal challenges. i pushed strongly for the simpson-bowles framework of deficit reduction. and yet here we are, no closer to a sensible decision on how to bring our $1.1 trillion budget deficit and our $16 trillion public debt under control. guess what?
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time is up. no more games. no more excuses. no more kicking the can down the road. we have to act and we have to act in a way that puts our fiscal house in order, reassures us the financial markets -- reassures the financial markets, and put people ahead of politics. we have to deal with these tax increases and spending cuts in a humane and tolerable way. this act does all of that. think of what happens to people in need of legal over the cliff and do nothing -- below its income-tax rate will jump from 10% -- the lowest income tax rate will jump from 10% to 15%. that is a pretty big financial issue for people in west virginia and ohio. these are people struggling now. instead of an overnight tax hike of 5%, this smooths the transaction by phasing in increases over three years. instead of a 5% increase, the
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10% bracket would only go to 11.6% the first year. the act does the same with the other tax rates, phasing them in over three years under the same proportions. but the act also puts us on record in support of comprehensive over all of that tax system. we can still work towards a big fakes like the simpson-bowles framework, and if we can do that we can stop the full increase from ever occurring. another important feature of the act is the way it treats sequestration. again, if we go over the cliff and do nothing, nearly every government program will be hit with the same percentage cuts. that includes social services, education, research, and infrastructure.
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all the things we need to grow our fragile economy. the act of the office of management and budget discretion and flexibility to recommend what programs and what agencies and accounts to cut. if omb fails to do the job, the sequestration cuts kick back in. of course, the final word is with us here in congress. any decision can be overridden by a joint resolution. every provision of the act is familiar to the senate -- in fact, at one time or another nearly every feature of this plan has been offered by both republicans and democrats, including president obama and speaker boehner. all i have done is pooled them together -- a compassionate alternative to what happens if we go over the fiscal cliff. true, from the very beginning i have favored a comprehensive solution to put our fiscal house in order. something along the lines of the bowles-simpson planned. perhaps this will not only soften the blow, but also give
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us a sense of urgency about a grand bargain to repair our fragile house. i'm not so naive as to believe everybody will check their politics at the door. even at this late hour. but this is not a time for politicking, bickering, or partisan games. to allow the country to plunge over the fiscal cliff without any alternative plans to solve -- soft and the landing is completely unacceptable. i cannot think of anything more irresponsible than to let this great country go over the fiscal cliff. to play games with the lives of americans in such a callous way. to jeopardize the financial standing of our country and to alarm our financial markets in ways that could trigger another recession -- something has gone terribly wrong when the biggest threat to the american economy is the american congress. i repeat, sir -- something has gone terribly wrong when the biggest threat to our american economy is our american congress. it does not have to be that way.
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i am putting something on the table that is fair and balanced. it includes a slow phase in of the tax increases that are going to happen inevitably if we go over the cliff. it includes a slow phase in >> with our debt continuing so soar and to many americans still looking for jobs, these are times that demand the very best of the senate. everywhere in west virginia and in fact all over this country, families are making tough choices about how to make ends meet. it's time for us in washington to do the same. here in the senate, it seems to me that we're always fighting about something that might not change anaheim soon, but more than not, i believe we can rise to a great common ground of a great national purpose. i believe with all of my heart that this is one of those times. thank you, mr. president, and i
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yield the floor. >> now texas republican kay bailey hutchison from the senate floor but the lack of a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. >> the senator from texas. >> mr. president, we are here just hours before a looming deadline that is going to affect just about every american in some way and i do believe that both sides of the aisle and both sides of the rotunda want to come to a conclusion that will keep us from having what looks like a complete meltdown of governing in washington. someone asked the question in one of our conferences, when was the last time that congress was in session and voting between christmas and new year's. the answer was since 1970 there has not been such a session and
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it has actually happened only four times in the history of our country and two of those times were dealing with world war ii. so i think enormity of the issue is very clear. that's why we are here. i think we should have done this six months ago, a year ago. i think all of us agree that we shouldn't be here at this last hour still trying to negotiate a point at which so many americans are going to be more heavily taxed. i was pleased to see that the distinguished deputy leader on the democratic side talked about the three areas that we have to address and deficit reduction is most certainly one of them because we are facing a
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ceiling of a $16 trillion debt that is getting ready to be exceeded. so, yes, deficit reduction and entitlement reform are two areas that we must address. this country cannot continue to have social security and medicare spiraling toward not even being solvent. we can't do it. but it's going to take a bipartisan approach. i mean, it's not rocket science to see that we have a democratic senate, a republican house, and a democratic president and that's going to be the same starting january 3 of next year for at least two more years. so we know what we're dealing with and i think it affects us right now in the fiscal cliff negotiations because we're not
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going to do anything unless it is bipartisan. we will not be able to pass anything in the house that doesn't have significant republican votes in the senate and the democrats in the senate are not going to be able to support something that won't require some votes of democrats in the house. so we are together. maybe it's like a dysfunction alal family but we do have to work together because without bipartisanship, nothing is going anywhere. therefore, i think you have to go back to negotiations 101, which is that someone in a negotiation has to win some and lose some. the other party in a negotiation has to win some and
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lose some. the president is not going to get everything he wants. the republicans in the house and senate are not going to get everything we want nor are the democrats in the house and senate. so we have areas where we can come together and i have seen it. all of us were talking in the last couple of hours about how we have talked to our counterparts on the other side of the aisle here about what could bring us together. there are very clear areas where we can come to an agreement. we are not going to be able to negotiate all parts of what we must do to get our financial house in order. we're not going to be able to do tax reform in a comprehensive way. we are not going to be able to
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do the fixing of and reforming of our entitlement programs. we are not going to be able to set all of the spending cuts that we are going to have to do going forward right here in the next 36 hours. we can't do it. that has to be done on a basis of determining after many hearings and determinations what our priorities are and what the ceiling on spending should be. we must set a ceiling. is it 18 or 20% of gross domestic product? is it some amount that goes down each year? that is the question that has to be decided after a lot of discussion next year. what we can do is avoid a
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fiscal calamity by not having the sequestration take place on january 1 at midnight, but make that a very short term. it can't be two years of a moratorium on sequestration because then we would not get to where we need to be in determining the priorities that will lower the rate of spending in this country. our problem in this country is a spending problem. with a $16 trillion debt, more spending is not going to be the answer. so let's look at a very short term avoidance of sequestration because we don't want to disrupt our military when they have boots on the ground in harm's way. we wouldn't do that, we wouldn't do it on either side
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of the aisle, so we need to talk about some short term sequestration avoidance, but not a long-term one because there are things we can cut in the military budget that will not affect the equipment and the pay and the living conditions of our military. we can cut other things. so we got to be able to come to terms with not having the sequestration, but making it very short term. i think that it is clear that the president has wanted to increase taxes on what he considers the wealthy. i disagree with the president on what is wealthy. i hope that we can come to terms and when i talk to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and even the president has said that a $400,000 threshold is something that he
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could accept. many on the other side of the aisle have said $500,000, $600,000 is something they could work with. if we do some other things, i believe you could come to a consensus, not something that we like because i don't think we ought to tax anyone. i have certainly voted that way. there is some area where we can have a short-term fix that will keep us from having to go over this cliff and hurt so many people in this country. i think it is so important that we look at the big ticket items in a comprehensive way and know that we're going to have to do that next year. there are things we can do right now. i don't know one person out of 100 year that wants the a.n.t.
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to take effect and cause people who make $35,000 to have to pay more taxes. a.n.t. should not, i think we should do away with the a.n.t. completely, but certainly, it should not kick in at $35,000. we need to fix it and i think everybody here agrees we need to fix it. the distinguished deputy leader was talking about the death tax. now he doesn't think that they we should fix the death tax. i certainly do. if we go to $1 million exemption and a 55% tax, that is going to hurt family-owned businesses, it's going to hurt farms and ranches that lose the major owner and it's going to hurt the people who work for those family-owned businesses. why is that? it's because the value on equipment on farms and ranches
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which is land does not have a revenue stream that allows you to pay the tax. so what do you have to do? you have to sell an asset that you can't get the valuation that is put on it. you cannot do it. i have owned a manufacturing company and i can tell you, you can't sell the equipment for the value that is put on that piece of equipment. so what happens to a family-owned business, they end up having to sell at pennies on the dollar to pay the tax and people are put out of work. now, is that really what we want? the extensions that we have now are $5 million at a 35% rate. it would go to $1 million in 36 or 48 hours, $1 million and a
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55% rate and remember the death tax is a tax that has already been paid again and again and again. it's a tax on the value of the equipment or the land that has already been taxed with a property tax or a tax on the equipment. so there is a reason to have some accommodation in the death tax so that we will not face more unemployed people who work for a family-owned business or farm and it is, if not the number one issue of the farm bureau of this country, it is certainly in the top two or three because they know, they know what it's like to have to sell land that is not productive at a value that is
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not realistic and pay a tax. and a 55% tax is pretty confiscatory. mr. president, i hope we can come together on a bipartisan basis. if we don't come together on a bipartisan basis, nothing will get done. we have the house that is looking to the united states senate that is supposed to be the adult in the room and they're looking at us to see how the votes turn out. we need a large majority on both sides of the aisle to send to the house something that has a firm stamp of approval from this body. we need the president to be a player here as well. i am encouraged that he is now talking to our leaders and
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hopefully being constructive and certainly our vice president who has served in this body for so long does understand the importance of the one-on-one talks and he is talking to, i know, our leader and most certainly the democratically leader as well. so, mr. president, the hour is getting late. both figuratively and actually. we don't have much time to settle the issue that will affect the economy of this country. last but not least, i am sure the president does not want on his watch to have a calamity like this happen. i don't want on my watch as one who is leaving the senate this year for this to be the last thing that happens on my watch and i don't think anyone here is going to benefit from a
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calamity happening in this country's economy, even for a few days because did just looks like we can't govern and it's time to realize that on a bipartisan basis, we can do some things that won't be universally liked and it won't be liked by everybody in this room or anybody in this room 100% because we're not going to get everything that we think is right. we can move our country forward. we can help everyone in this country, every taxpayer, but we're not going to raise taxes to spend more. we should be saying, ok, if there is going to be a threshold that pays more taxes, they should know it's going to bring down the deficit. that is a very important point that we hope will be determined
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at the end of this road in 36 to 48 hours. so thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a forum. >> house democrats also spoke to reporters on the latest fiscal cliff negotiations. you'll hear from house democratic caucus chairman john larson, his soon to be successor, javier bassera and incoming caucus chair joe crowley. >> good evening. in keeping with the holiday spirit, happy or merry everything and happy always. would it be that we could make the american people happy by
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attending to the work at hand. we just concluded a caucus and our membership is as frustrated as the american people we're sworn to serve because we understand and continue to be befuddled why we can't bring up proposals that put the country back to work, why we can't deal with the tax cut for the middle class, especially when both sides agree that the country needs to go back to work and that we need middle tax tax relief. now the president said it well both on friday and today. if we can't, if they can't come to agreement within their own
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conference, if they continue to self-destruct before our eyes in their own conference, then minimally they have a responsibility as the president suggested to bring his proposal to the floor for an up or down vote on behalf of the american people. that's what we continue to focus on, putting the country back to work and the jobs that everybody knows will assist and aid in bringing down the deficit, the national debt while employing our people that are out of work and addressing the problems that are at hand including a tax break for the middle class. we can only hope that our colleagues come to their senses. i again think that john boehner is an honorable man. i think he has outside forces within his own conference that are working against him, but
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more importantly, working against the american people. it's our sincere hope that we're able to resolve this and get it done without taking this nation over the fiscal cliff. minimally, our caucus is unanimous in our support in responsibility to take a vote in the house of representatives . with that, i'll turn it to our vice chair. >> mr. chairman, we have votes, i'll be brief and simply say that the house republican majority called us back for votes. today we will be voting, in fact, votes are beginning as we speak and our understanding is that none of the votes that we'll be casting today have anything to do with these deadlines that we face in slightly more than 24 hours. we're here, we're ready. we believe there is a bill that would help address some of
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these deadlines that we face and the fiscal consequences of not acting on these deadlines that is before us. that is the bipartisanly passed bill that will protect middle class families from any tax increase. so one way or the other, we should get something done. the american people have asked us to do that. i know that my colleagues have all heard what i have heard. i have heard it from friends, family, constituents back home, just get it done. we have got a little bit more than 24 hours. i hope the house republican leadership lets us put bills on the floor that can pass and that may not get all of their republican colleagues to vote for them, but can pass that are balanced and have a chance to pass. so we're here. we should get the work done and with that, let me yield to the incoming vice chair of the democratic caucus, joe crowley. >> thank you, xavier, i'll be brief. it feels like groundhog day.
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this is the fourth or fifth time i have stood at this podium. i feel like i'm saying the same thing. in the movie, time wasn't a matter. in true life, in 24 hours or so, thereabouts, we'll be facing a dire circumstance for our nation in the sense that if the republican congress fails to act and to work in conjunction with our president, they will lead us over the fiscal cliff. i hope that's not what they want to do, but every indication right now is that the republican congress continues to not work in good faith with the president. there is still time left. it's our hope that they will come to their senses and do the right thing for the american people. >> we thank everybody. it is our intent to be caucusing every day that we're here and we will be engaging with the press after those
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caucuses as well and i apologize, but we're going to have to go up and vote. if you want to walk with us and ask questions, you can. thank you so much. >> we also spoke to a capitol hill reporter for an update on negotiations surrounding the fiscal cliff. >> the congressional correspondent for national journal joins us. what can you tell us about the discussions between harry reid and mitch mcconnell. >> right now, there doesn't seem to be too much happening in the discussions. they're pretty stalled out. we had a topsy-turvy day, lots of sound and lots of fury, not a lot of action. democrats who started the day and said the republicans threw in demands to change the way
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entitlement benefits are paid out. that was a nonstarter with democrats. they said we're not going to move until republicans completely take that off the table. republicans said, hey, we put that out last night in an offer. we knocked out the counteroffer back from democrats. we're kind of waiting to see where they are. both sides huddled this afternoon with their respective caucuses. republicans came out and said, yep, ok, we're fine with taking that demand off the table and democrats said, well, they should have, but they're still trying to balance the entire budget on the backs of the middle class and we're not there yet. and so what i hear from folks who are kind of working the negotiations is that across the board entitlements cuts that go into effect january 1 are a big sticking point in the negotiations. there is the tax piece with folks trying to avoid taxes going up on january 1. there is a spending side that the across the board spending
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cuts don't happen. there is a sticking point of how or if they avoid the spending cuts while they work on trying to avoid the tax increases. >> earlier after the democratic caucus broke up, there was a report that harry reid had made a new offer, a new counteroffer to the republicans. what was the story on that? >> i was actually in that scrum of reporters as he walked out of the democrat caucus meeting. he was asked, do you plan to make a counteroffer? he said i just did and kept walking. we all reported that he had, in fact, made this counteroffer. shortly thereafter, i talked to his spokesperson who said, no, no, no, he was just being rhetorical. he has not made a counteroffer. i don't know if it was a bit of harry reid humor that was misunderstood in a skrum of a couple dozen reporters. if he had made a counteroffer and walk it back because it wasn't public, we're unclear. that is how it's been up here.
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lots of information flowing back and forth, lots of rumors, lots of lawmakers kind of trafficking and i heard this and i heard that, not a lot of good solid information as these negotiations continue. >> one of the stories that came out was that mitch mcconnell had been in contact or actually gone to speak with vice president biden. what can you tell us about that? >> i love this one, right. the republican leader calls joe biden off the bench, right. this is kind of what we all had been waiting for. the senate republican leader and the vice president have a good working relationship. we saw that last summer in the debt ceiling debate. those two guys swooped in at the end and helped make a deal happen. when i talked to mcconnell's folks last week, they said, you know, the vice president has been on the sidelines here. we have not been contacted by them. we have not been contacted by the president. it was an interesting move by mitch mcconnell to call joe biden today and try to jump-start these negotiations when they locked up with the
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majority leader on the democrat side. that will be something to watch in the coming hours. democrats are concerned he will cut a bad deal. they're feeling pretty good right now. will joe biden come in an emboldin the republicans or will the dems hang together across pennsylvania avenue from the white house to congress. a big storyline that we're all watching very closely. >> now that we here that they're coming back, senator reid wants to bring the senate back tomorrow morning at 11:00. is it likely that he will have some deal or counteroffer when they bring them back? >> if i could tell you, i would be a millionaire. i would be making bets on the stock market. i would have all kinds of future telling that none of us can discern at this point. the hope, of course, is that there could be some kind of deal. remember, democrats feel like
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they're in a pretty strong position here. if they can't get a deal that republicans can sign on to, they will put a plan back on the floor tomorrow and get republicans to block it. it's unclear what will happen. it might pass the senate and move over to the house and create some momentum that way. there is a lot to watch here and a lot of moving pieces that nobody is quite sure kind of when the music stops, where it all ends. >> quickly, on that scaledback version, what is the income level that senators are looking at? >> certainly, the president has put 250 out there. that will be what most people assume will happen if there is no deal and harry reid puts the president's plan on the floor. it will be 250,000. now the negotiations over that in trying to get a deal are a big sticking point. i have heard from republicans that it could, it may have gone as high as $500,000. democrats tell me they have moved, that they are negotiating that. they won't say the number. i hear it may be as high as
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half a million at this point. >> our congressional correspondent for national journal, thanks for the update. >> thank you. >> the house and senate wrapped up rare weekend sessions with no agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. both chambers return tomorrow as negotiations continue. the house comes in at 9:00 a.m. eastern for general speeches and 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. earlier tonight, the rules committee waived a rule requiring a 2/3 vote to consider same-day legislation. this would clear the way for a vote on a possible fiscal cliff bill. no time has been set for house votes. live coverage on c-span. according to senate majority leader reid on sunday, there are still "significant distance between the two sides on the fiscal cliff." they're back on monday at 11:00 a.m. eastern with roll call votes possible. live coverage on c-span 2.
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>> you think of washington in 1835, 25 years before the civil war, you know what would you think? you would think, wow, slavery was well entrenched. the black people were miserable. the whites were kind of cruel and indifferent. that's actually not true at all. in washington, in washington, they had about 30,000 people then as a city, 12,000 of them were black. the majority of the black people in washington actually in 1830 were free, were not slaves out of the 12,000 black people, slightly more than half were free. >> what led to washington, d.c.'s first race riots in 1835 and what part did francis scott key play. jefferson morley recounts the almost forgotten chapter in american history in "snowstorm in august" part of four days of nonfiction books and aut